Firefly Lane, Netflix’s latest book adaption debuted at No.1 on the Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming list for the Week of Feb. 1 – Feb. 7 reeling in over 1.3 billion minutes of watch time in its first five days on the platform.
The hit show stars actress and former fashion model Katherine Heigl, best known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy, the longest-running medical drama on television. Heigl was labeled “difficult” and “unprofessional” after she famously withdrew her name from the 2008 Emmy Awards, stating that she wasn’t given the material to warrant the nomination and did not want to take away the opportunity from an actress who was given such materials. This decision sparked disharmony among Hollywood as she won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Grey’s Anatomy the year prior. Critics kept a keen eye on Heigl and portrayed her in a diva -esque manner, ultimately resulting in her blacklist from Hollywood.
“Although I think her actions were insulting to the writers and cast of Grey’s Anatomy, I think the fact that she was a woman exacerbated the situation and made people perceive it as worse than it was,” Nusaiba Ally, an Edison graduate said. “Women are often made out to be divas, emotional, or bossy for asserting themselves in the workplace.”
Based on the book by Kristin Hannah, Firefly Lane tells the story of best friends Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke) who can’t seem to escape each other. The pair first meet on the street Firefly Lane, as Tully moves in across the street from Kate. Cut from different cloths, the series explores the distinct disparities between the pair.
Kate, a nerdy introvert comes from a stable household that holds true to your stereotypical American family. Tully on the other hand is a free-spirited force of nature, who craves stability which her absentee drug-addicted mother lacks. The pair meet on a whim and endure a lifelong friendship that takes them through their teenage years, college, adulthood, and their first jobs together in Seattle.
The story of Firefly Lane takes viewers through the ’70s, ’80s, and early 2000s. Actresses Ali Skovbye and Roan Curtis play young Tully and Kate, while the help of CGI helped transform Heigl and Chalke to play the 19-22-year-old versions of their characters.
Firefly Lane highlights the true charm and allure Katherine Heigl holds, with some viewers even calling the show her comeback.
“I have watched Firefly Lane and read the book and I believe she did a phenomenal job of bringing the character to life and stayed true to the book. I think this role could be a comeback for her,” said Lisa Paxton, an elementary school teacher.
Jennifer Stephan, a public school teacher, agrees. “I enjoyed her in Firefly Lane. I would give her an 8 out of 10. I do believe this has opened her up to more work in the future,” Stephan said.
With a major fanbase due to the novel, Firefly Lane became an instant hit on Netflix. But is it worthy of a binge?
“Well it’s no ‘Tiger King’,” stay-at-home mom MaryAnn DePaola said. “I’m not sure if it’s really something my husband would want to watch with me but it’s a great Netflix and chill binge for women. I know many people who binged it on a weekend.”
Nusaiba Ally, an Edison graduate says “It’s a must-watch if you’re a fan of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and This is Us. It has a similar soapy nature and explores different time periods simultaneously. Definitely a worthy quarantine binge.”
With only a portion of Firefly Lane told in the Netflix Series, fans remain in high hopes for season 2. It seems that Dr. Izzie Stevens may never return, but it looks like Tully Hart is here to stay.